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The NSRI’s free Survival Swimming classes will be equipping children and adults with lifesaving skills around the country this summer. Read on to find a class near you…

The arrival of summer means it’s almost time to kick off this year’s round of Survival Swimming classes. This initiative commenced in 2019, and had to be put on hold during the Covid 19 pandemic – however, it resumed last year, when the Drowning Prevention (DP) team reached its target of giving 15 000 Survival Swimming lessons and teaching 650 000 Water Safety classes. This year, the goal is even more ambitious: 25 000 Survival Swimming lessons and 750 000 Water Safety classes!

“We are well on our way to reaching – and even exceeding – our Water Safety class target for this year,” says Drowning Prevention Project Coordinator Nazreen Adams.

These targets form part of the DP team’s unwavering commitment to reducing our country’s tragically high drowning rates – especially among children – by equipping all South Africans with the basic skills needed to avoid drowning: breath control, orientation (opening your eyes underwater), floating and propulsion (moving at least five metres in the water).

“Compared to last year, we have increased our volunteer Survival Swimming sites nationally,” says Nazreen. “These are managed by volunteers, not by paid instructors, as with our Survival Swimming Centres. Last year we only had locations in the Western Cape, but now we have nine across the country so far. There are a few others in the pipeline – we are just waiting for confirmation.”

Classes begin from 1 November, each session is free of charge and takes roughly 20 minutes, and can accommodate between three and five participants per lesson. Qualified Survival Swimming instructors are trained as per international guidelines, are competent swimmers qualified in first aid, and adhere to all safeguarding practices. Instructors are assessed annually to ensure that their skills remain sharp and up to date.

This year, classes run by DP instructors will be taking place at swimming pools in the following municipalities (more locations may yet be added as some are still to be confirmed):

Gauteng:

  • Pimville, Soweto
  • Rabie Ridge, Johannesburg
  • Coronationville, Johannesburg


KwaZulu-Natal:

  • Gamalakhe
  • KwaMashu
  • Port Shepstone


Eastern Cape:

  • Tombo


Western Cape:

  • Hanover Park, Cape Town
  • Long Street Baths, Cape Town
  • Retreat, Cape Town
  • Blue Downs, Cape Town
  • Vredendal
  • Riebeek Kasteel
  • Riversdale
  • George
  • Ceres
  • Heidelberg


To find out when the next Survival Swimming lesson will be happening near you, email survivalswimming@searescue.org.za

Psst… If you would like to volunteer as a Survival Swimming instructor at any of the below locations, fill out the application form here.

Gauteng:

  • Roodepoort pool, Johannesburg
  • Paterson Park pool, Johannesburg


North West Province:

  • Paulazz resort, Mafikeng


Western Cape:

  • Muizenberg, Cape Town
  • Sea Point, Cape Town
  • Wynberg, Cape Town
  • Strand Pavillion, Cape Town
  • Knysna


Eastern Cape:

  • Kenton-on-Sea
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